Friday 15 September 2017

Daniel and the Triune Quest (Sons and Daughters Book 2) by Nathan Lumbatis

The past year of Daniel’s life has been anything but normal. Adoption by his Heavenly Father? Check. Become the Vessel for the mystical Sun Sword? Check. Charged with a quest to fight the source of all evil? Check. But hey, he made it look good. Now it’s his best friend, Ben’s, turn to become the Vessel for the Triune Shield, and Daniel’s ready to lead the charge on another adventure. But, they only have three days to find the shield before the Enemy catches up, and obtaining it will require the last thing either of the boys is ready for: self-sacrifice. Daniel must die to his pride, and Ben must pay the ultimate price. They’ll need a miracle if they hope to survive.

Daniel and the Triune Quest is a young adult/Christian fantasy exploring redemption through Christ’s sacrifice, adoption into God’s family, and eschatology. It is the second book in the Sons and Daughters series, which includes Daniel and the Sun Sword.

The Guru's Review:  

Every author and every reader anticipate that a sequel will be just as good or better than the previous. I am sure Lumbatis is no exception here. Well, I can say that this is a better story than its predecessor (Daniel and the Sun Sword). Lumbatis have used the success of the previous to improve not only his writing skills but also concerning plot development and characterisation.  But the most noticeable improvement is the spiritual aspects. These not only impact greatly on the plot but further expand on what the author established in Sun Sword.

Lumbatis has shown more of the biblical aspects of who God is, the Trinity and the Gospel message. I really enjoyed how Lumbatis has done this. There is no overt preachiness that would interrupt the plot or make it disjointed and these inclusions are seamlessly incorporated into the plot as part of the plot arcs. And because Lumbatis' novels are geared towards the teen/young adult audience, this is very appropriate and works well. This age group switches off instantly when preachiness is present. Lumbatis again portrays the relationship between The Father and himself as a relational one and where he gets frustrated due to his age and maturity, Lumbatis shows very well how God encourages us to trust Him and lean not on our own understanding but His. Again, for this reader age group, this is very appropriate and needed.

The relationship between Daniel and Ben is more complex than previous and shows Lumbatis understands adolescents and their dynamics. The conflict between the two is typical of their age and maturity and one I could relate to well. In my case it was reversed, being the younger sibling, I experienced the jealousy from my older brother. I definitely understand what Daniel went through. 
The account where Daniel meets Jesus is powerful but gentle and bypasses the head and ministers straight to the heart. Very memorable and I loved through this account, Jesus leads Daniel to a greater understanding not only of the Gospel message and of who He is and His death on the Cross but of the quest Ben has in seeking the Triune Shield, but what he had to do to resolve this conflict between them. Daniel matures when understands this dynamic. And Ben matures throughout this adventure and earns Daniel's respect and vice versa. Lumbatis shows more of these instances where they are connected to the spiritual aspects of the novel. As I stated in my review of Sun Sword, you can see why Lumbatis has done this. His occupation of a child and adolescent therapist (working with adoptees, foster kids, and children from broken homes) lends the Gospel to this demographic very well. 

While on this issue, Lumbatis also includes some very illuminating messages on dying to self, being self-sacrificing all based on who Jesus is and the reasons why He encourages us to be like this. I loved how this is challenged by The Enemy and his rationale seems convincing but is very deceptive and Jesus shows Daniel the truth of His message and the Enemy's deception. Lumbatis shines here as well. 

My only concern remains the same as I stated in my review of Daniel and the Sun Sword. It is that through all the interaction with angels (Granny, Inti, Chandra and Candi), The Father, Jesus (Champion) and The Holy Spirit (The Blessing) and the Gospel message, and other detailed explanation of some of the sub Gospel themes and doctrines,  Lumbatis does not have Ben, Daniel taking the final step of accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour. I cannot even see any implication of this. Lumbatis has them acting as if they have accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour. This type of novel lends itself to this natural progression with all these aforementioned factors including those of spiritual warfare, demonology, demon possession and oppression and spiritual bondage.

The pace is faster than the previous novel and I must confess, I had to take a break as I felt I was affected getting breathless the more I read. The spiritual and physical warfare is also frenetic and further developed than previous. I know Lumbatis researched well the mythology and culture of Sun Sword and it is evident from this current novel that he has done the same here. In both, he has translated this research into the plot and setting of the novel very well. It is great world building. This allows this plot to flow well on this backdrop and environment. Makes it very credible and real. 

The spiritual warfare aspects are the same as in the previous; relying on prayer and the use of the supernaturally empowered weapons to deal with the demons. The demonology aspects based on the culture is very convincing and any poetic licence Lumbatis has employed only strengthens this and the plot. Definitely, adds to the plot and action. I love the deception the manifestation of these demons as local gods show and is reflective of the current environment that exists today.

I loved how one plot arc from Sun Sword left dangling was further developed in this novel and becomes a major part of the plot. Its resolutions at the end set the scene for a third instalment in this series and provide for even more complex development from this novel.

You might be wondering if anything further happens between Gabriela and Daniel in this novel and where is Raylin?  Don't despair, Lumbatis explains but it may not be what you are expecting. And the new character introduced adds more suspense especially the next novel. This novel really is pivotal for the series so far. I cannot wait for the next instalment. 

Fans of this series are not going to be disappointed with this novel. Lumbatis proves more of himself as an effective, competent and talented author in this novel. 

Strongly Recommended. 

World Building 5/5

Characterisation 5/5

Story 5/5

Spiritual Level 4/5

Enemy Spiritual Level 4/5 

Overall Rating 4.6/5 Stars

To read an excerpt or buy this novel, click on the BUY/PREVIEW  icons below:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. It is awaiting moderation.